Tuesday, 27 March 2007

PhotoShop Class

I took a PhotoShop class all day today just down the street from my office. I learned a metric fuckton of info that I can’t wait to put into practice. I used to wonder what could be so important that business folks would be on their cellphones all the time, but I was worried about the delivery of the ISC Annual Report since I was the main motivator at getting a few copies printed and bound nicely. They were due yesterday, and last I knew they still hadn’t been delivered. They’re due tomorrow, by law, to the ADP Board, so I was hitching back down the street on breaks and making phone calls to check on the everything.

And the thing is, I don’t mind it. I love the fact that I’m trusted to implement my ideas and expected to succeed at them. My judgment is trusted and I love that responsibility.

Monday, 26 March 2007

R2 Detour

Mom came up this weekend and bought a laptop. I was gonna pimp it out for her, but Adelphia/Time Warner decided to switch over their servers without notifying us, and it took them the whole weekend to turn it back on. Frustrating.

On my way to work today I saw this guy.
R2D2 First Class

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Nostalgia Reject

I think I’m going to reject the act of nostalgia from my life. Hindsight, reflection and appreciation of the past are fine, but comparing the past to the present’s detriment is inefficient, irresponsible and inauthentic. All moments are incomparably precious and moments past should not distract and detract from the value of the moments present.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Ratatat Deux

I saw Ratatat for the second time last weekend. The first time was almost two years ago when they were touring with Clinic. Stroud didn’t appear to be pounding whisky as hard as he was last time, but I wasn’t paying much attention, since the Beachland was inundated with middle and high school kids in an all ages showathon. Damn kids don’t know how to behave at a show. I don’t know how many times someone whined at me “Why won’t you let me in front of you?” since I was pretty close to the stage and am tall. Damn kids should have showed up at 8:30 like I did to see the opening acts. They might have learned that the local Muamin Collective is great. Despite the sea of greasy teenagerdom I enjoyed the show. Ratatat’s act is more polished than it was two years ago [to be expected], but the best part is that I have a camera that takes video so I can share the love.

Ratatat “Crips”:
Ratatat “Truman”:
Ratatat “Seventeen Years”:

The Blood of a Poet

A part of this viewing list: Criterion Collection Spine #67: Jean Cocteau’s The Blood of A Poet.

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At first, this film seemed impenetrable to me. It only clocks in at 50 minutes, but the film is so filled with a need for interpretation that “pregnant” doesn’t even begin to describe it. Jean Cocteau explicitly states that the film is an allegory [or several of them] about the the meaning of art both timelessly and in the age of mechanical reproduction. I’ve very deliberately not read anything about this film [I will once I’ve finished this review, youbetcha] but I suspect that Cocteau was wrestling with his own artistic thought-demons and upon completion, he decided to express them personally, and ultimately fatalistically in this film.

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A few intertitles set the stage early on, as an artist is working on a drawing of a statue in his room. The mouth of the drawing comes to life and ends up getting attached to his hand and possessing it. It demands air, makes out with him, fondles his body and probably gives him a blowjob [a cut makes this part merely implied, at least to me]. Eventually the artist/poet ends up going through the looking-glass and into his own [and since he stands for Cocteau, Cocteau’s] mind. His mind happens to be a hotel hallway and as he peeks through the keyholes he glimpses stylized and disturbing things.

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The film is quite violent, much of which is expressed with the characteristic Cocteau inventiveness. He was certainly a special effects genius. Since much of this violence appears to be an internalized manifestation of the artist’s mind, it shouldn’t be surprising that there is an equal amount of deviant sexual behavior as well, a child dressed in bells is whipped, an opium den is viewed in silhouette, a hermaphrodite gives a peep-show, not to mention the aforementioned hand/blowjob.

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The statue’s control of the artist/poet suggests that it represents a Muse, but a renegade one who doesn’t play by the rules. She is out to teach a lesson; though art may possess and provide grandiose and wonderful and world-changing possibility to the artist, something of extreme solemnity; to others it will likely be just frivolous entertainment. And, ultimately, the importance of the art will not matter, it will be destroyed, ignored, disintegrated, or forgotten. Cocteau even indicates that immortality is not to be desired… “the mortal tedium of immortality.”

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Effectually, the film is an attempt to render poetic words unto images, and to me it seems to be more document than fable, Cocteau offers no easy solutions. Especially since the artist/poet commits suicide twice during the film. Stars, wireframes, passages, voyeuristic glory everlasting, denial, larceny and powerlessness all intertwine to present a two-fold meaning [at least] for the Blood of a Poet. The blood is his art, and art demands a poet’s blood.

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Criterion Essay by Jean Cocteau.
• Brief review at Netcomuk [and much more Cocteau].
• Senses of Cinema review.
MovieMartyr review.
• YouTube clip of a good trick shot.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Lucky Strike

I got lucky tonight when the power went off at my [mostly worthless] Flash class at the Tri-C Corporate College. We left early, which meant I had time to play pseudo-catch-up on all the crap that has been piling up at my apartment. I used to wonder how it could be possible that someone might not have enough time to read, but with the three volunteer projects I’m currently working on, the freelance work, my regular 9-5 and other unseen events, I now have a huge pile of reading. I’ve already renewed the Agee book of film reviews twice and Herodotus once. Incidentally, reading Herodotus is a lot like reading a weblog. I’m two months behind on my Paste subscription, so I’ve definitely got to catch up on that.

I managed to watch a Criterion film twice tonight. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish the review tomorrow. I was pseudo-MetaFiltered when someone linked to my Criterion Project in another post about someone who intends to watch all of the films. I only got about a 30% increase in traffic, [took me forever to remember the password to check my webstats] which is good. If I had been linked on the front page, I’d probably have to pay a hefty server bill this month.

Checking the webstats revealed that the string that keeps resulting in hits for my site is “rape scenes” ever since, way back when, I reviewed Straw Dogs. And now I probably just increased the chance of my site showing up in that result by writing it here. DON’T INDEX THIS, BOT!

Going to sleep now. I’ll be bowling for Harvest for Hunger tomorrow at the Corner Alley. I was shanghaied by the Department of Development when they lost a person. The County Commissioners are bowling against City officials tomorrow before us nobody’s get to work. I haven’t bowled in a few years but I fully intend to kick everyone’s ass.